Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Rosie Makes Tarts!

This is how you start out the New Year the right way.
With something sweet!

So, I'm making tarts.
Little buttery tarts.
With pecans.
And Medjool dates because I happen to have them.

Let's start with the pastry dough first.

Pastry Dough
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg
1 tsp white vinegar
3-4 TB cold water

Whisk the flour and salt together.
Using a fork or pastry blender, 
cut in the butter until the mixture is nice and crumbly.
In a small bowl, 
whisk together the egg, vinegar, and 2 TB of the water.
Drizzle egg mixture into flour,
using fork to moisten evenly.
Drizzle more water in,
folding dough over
until it comes together.
Pat into a flat slab about 1/2 inch thick,
cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

Here are the how-to's:
Work that butter into the flour until the mixture gets crumbly.
And you want different sized crumbs,
not all homogeneous,
but none larger than pea-sized.

Drizzle in the egg, water, and vinegar mixture.

Add in enough water to form a ball.

And roll it out (about 1/2 inch thick),
 cover it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
If you like, you can make the dough the first day,
refrigerate it overnight,
and continue with the filling the next day.

Make the filling.

2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
(And we're talking the real stuff here.
Don't use the chemicals.)
2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla

Using a mixer, beat eggs well.
Then beat in brown sugar and salt
until well-combined.
Beat in syrup, vinegar, butter, and vanilla
until smooth.

Then I noticed I had some Medjool dates and pecans.
I'm using about 1/4 cup chopped dates
and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

Fold the dates and pecans into the filling mixture.

If you're not familiar with Medjool dates,
it's high time to familiarize yourself.
Medjool dates are the real thing.
They're fresh dates.
If all you've been using date-wise
are the dried, shriveled dates in the baking aisle,
Get thee to a proper produce department
and buy the Medjools.

For more about the Medjool date
(plus a wonderful celery salad recipe
that even people who say they don't like celery will like)
see HERE.

Now, back to my tarts.

Take the slab of pastry dough out of the fridge
and start rolling it out on a lightly floured work surface.
Flip it over.
Sprinkle flour.
Roll some more.
You want it less than 1/8" thick.

Cut out 4-inch diameter circles.
Pull up remaining dough.
Form into a ball, roll out again, and cut more circles.
Continue until you use up all the dough.
You should have enough for a 12-cup muffin pan.
And then some. 
Any leftover dough you can roll out,
cut into circles,
fill with thinly sliced apples.
Fold into crescents, seal, and fry.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Next I cut little slits around the circles
so when I press them into my non-stick muffin pans,
they sort of overlap and fit better.

Gently press dough circles into muffin tins
so they're nice and snug,
then fill each tart 2/3 full with filling mixture.
Bake in 375° oven for 25 minutes or thereabouts.
Until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
Let tarts cool then remove from pan.


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